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Can the history of energy technology and use educate us for a solar energy future? The italian case

Abstract

This paper presents the first results of a work in progress exploring the history of energy

technology and use in Italy over the past 200 years. It is based on research and review of documents and archives before and after the first World Solar Symposium in Arizona in 1955. Special focus is on recurrent attempts made by individuals and institutions to promote solar energy in Italy. Attention is also given to events and policies, national and international, and on cultural factors, including those that have been helpful in moving toward a modern solar future and those that have not. The research has prompted the following actions: preparation of a “Directory of Italian Activities and Bibliography of Significant Literature” regarding the period prior to the first oil shock of 1973; valorization of overlooked archives at universities and research centers; cooperation between ISES ITALIA and the Italian Libraries Association (AIB) for the creation of a repository and a virtual library of a selected number of publications in solar energy for specialists, scholars, students and lay people. Among the goals of this research is to show that the history of solar energy can help in understanding modern solar energy science and technology and educate us for a solar energy future (**).

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